Favorite BBEG from any campaign!
What's your favorite BBEG? Maybe it's from a campaign you have run or maybe it's from something you were in. Doesn't matter. I want to know who it was and why you loved them!
Mine isn't any one specific BBEG, but a group of three that pulled the ultimate carpet pull on epic level characters.
Okay, flashback to a 3rd edition era D+D campaign that's been going on for quite a long time. High power, very loose and frenetic style. It's one of my specialty 'evil campaigns', where the characters can only be of evil or relatively neutral alignment.
By this point, the characters reached a staggering level 22-23, and the players know they're hot stuff. The main antagonists are a loose confederation of home brewed giant three-headed humanoids called Horrors. They've scuffled with them individually a few times, but now they're in a tense stand off with three of them. Even at their level, the Horrors are a challenge, as each is effectively a boss type monster. They're well liked villains for their tenacity, unique lore, and challenge.
I decided to shoot for the moon out of nowhere.
The Horrors compliment the PCs on their prowess and so on. "We've watched the lot of you from the dawning of your misadventures and we must admit... we're impressed. So we've decided to present you an opportunity... true power. You have what it takes to go the mile. Become one of us."
Now, the lore on the Horrors was murky in places, but it was known that they could make others of their kind through unconventional means involving a spiritual transfusion.
One of the Horrors tosses the players a single rusty dagger. "Transcend your flesh and make the ultimate next step. Thereby, you shall become one of our legion."
Now, these players are utterly powerdrunk at this point. This is a crazy campaign, it seems like anything goes. And the idea of a PC becoming a Horror is just the kind of gonzo direction things could go... right?
Immediately, four of the five players is down for this. The last guy is a hold out, but he is ultimately tempted by the idea, edged further by everyone else. They go for it.
One by one... these epic level characters ended themselves with a rusty dagger. A solid year of actual gaming, often with double weekly sessions. And no one thinks to make an Insight check to determine if something is fishy. I couldn't believe it.
The Horrors thanked the now dead characters for their bravery and contribution.
Because no one made that one incredibly basic check to see if they were lying or telling some half truth, the entire party ended themselves only to wind up with their brains put into obedient robotic minions that the Horrors employed. Which fulfills what the bad guys meant... they could join their legion, which are all worded as 'Horrors' under a single banner. They just didn't get converted into the big brutal ones like they thought. One simple measly Insight checked could have avoided this. But noooo....
The campaign ends with uproariously laughter and facepalming on everyone's part and I gained the ultimate Dungeon Master TPK story thanks to those three BBEGs. Twenty years later and they still reference it.
NO! You are right, they were so drunk on power, they never stopped to ask why! WOW. And to be ended by a rusty knife of all things! Pride does goeth before the fall. I have to say I LOVE evil campaigns. I think they are so fun and fulfilling. It sounds like you had an awesome group and campaign. To get past level 20 and then die. But it doesn't matter cause it was epic and everyone is still happy. That is truly the biggest compliment for a DM. Kuddos.